Board governance as the ultimate expression of power-sharing

Written by: Kristina ("Yna") C. Moore

Date: October 09, 2018

Barr Foundation’s Barbara Hostetter, co-founder and chair of the board of trustees, and Jim Canales, president and CEO, share 3 lessons from broadening the range of perspectives into the boardroom.

Jim Canales, Barr FoundationLike many family foundations, Barr Foundation started in 1999 as a personal giving vehicle of its funders, Barbara Hostetter and Amos B. Hostetter Jr., and was governed by them. In 2017, the board grew from 3 to 5 trustees, and a majority are non-family members.

In “Philanthropy’s Ultimate Power-Sharing Opportunity: Governance,” Barbara and Jim Canales, the foundation’s chief executive, writes about how bringing in diverse perspectives at the board level ensures three governance functions: accountability, rootedness and adaptability. For them, this ultimate form of power sharing is mission-critical.

“Indeed, sharing power at the governance level is imperative to advancing our mission of ensuring that everyone can reach their full potential.”

– Barbara Hostetter and Jim Canales
Philanthropy’s Ultimate Power-Sharing Opportunity: Governance

Barbara Hostetter, Barr FoundationBarbara and Jim offer 3 practical lessons from their ongoing journey and invite other funders to consider sharing power in their boardrooms as well.

Philanthropy’s Ultimate Power-Sharing Opportunity: Governance” is part of the new Power in Philanthropy series on The Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) blog in collaboration with NCRP. Contributors from NCRP and nonprofit and philanthropic leaders explore popular concepts in philanthropy – such as risk, capacity building, and public leadership – through the lens of power and equitable outcomes.

Power in Philanthropy is based on NCRP’s “Power Moves: Your essential philanthropy assessment guide for equity and justice.”

Related articles:

Power, Privilege, and Effectiveness: Are Funders Connecting the Dots?
by Kathleen Enright, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

The Power of Families: From Poverty to Agency to Unity
by Luz Vega-Marquis, Marguerite Casey Foundation

Don’t miss forthcoming posts by Alison Corwin of Surdna Foundation, Ruth Cummings and Sharon Alpert of Nathan Cummings Foundation, Grant Oliphant of The Heinz Endowments and others.

Visit Power in Philanthropy on SSIR 

Or stay tuned on NCRP’s blog for links
to the latest articles in the series.

Yna C. Moore is senior director of communications of NCRP. Follow @ynamoore and @ncrp on Twitter. Join the conversation on  #PowerMovesEquity.